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How to Install Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are a popular option for people looking for easy installation options and a different look. It’s a fairly DIY-friendly project, so we put together a step-by-step guide to guide you through the process of installing carpet tiles.

First, the tools and material you’ll need:

  1. Carpet tiles - also known as modular carpets or carpet squares, these are normally square pieces of carpet which are fitted together to make a whole carpet
  2. Double-sided tape or adhesive - pressure sensitive tape with adhesive on both sides. Some tiles come pre-installed with adhesive so this may not be necessary based on the tiles you purchase
  3. Chalk or a pencil - to mark the subfloor or tile
  4. Utility knife or carpet cutter - either one will work when you need to cut the carpet tiles 
  5. Measuring tape - for measuring any gaps between the carpet and wall or to measure a straight line across the floor
  6. Straightedge - a type of ruler, this will help keep the lines straight as you mark where the floor tiles should go
  7. Cutting board or a piece of plywood - to cut the tiles on without damaging the floor
  8. Knee pads (optional) 
  9. Vacuum cleaner (optional)
  10. A clean, dry, and smooth subfloor - imperative to ensure the adhesive sticks properly to the floor and that the carpet tiles lay flat. There is no padding underneath carpet tiles.

Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor

Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any dust, dirt, or debris and repair any cracks or irregularities as these can affect the carpet tile installation.

Step 2: Plan the Layout

You’ll need to measure your room and find the centre point. Using a measuring tape, find the centre points of one wall and using a piece of chalk string or measuring tape make a chalk line to the opposite wall. Repeat this step for the remaining walls. Next, square out the lines by measuring 4ft from the centre on one line and 3ft from the other. When you measure from point to point you should have 5ft between them. This will give you a line to start laying your floor tiles on, working from the centre outward, so you can preview what your floor will look like. Stop at the last full tile. If the space between the wall and tile is less than half the size of the carpet tile, readjust the line so your carpet can be more evenly spaced.

Step 3: Apply Adhesive (optional)

If you’re using double-sided tape, apply it to the edges of the subfloor and along the seams where tiles will meet. Check what adhesive works for your tiles. If your tiles come with adhesive backing, you can skip this step.

Step 4:  Start Laying the Tile

Starting in the centre (as you did in Step 2), place the first carpet tile in position. Press it firmly onto the adhesive, ensuring it’s aligned with the chalk lines you made back in Step 2. Continue installing tiles in a grid pattern, working your way outward.Make sure each tile is snugly fitted against the adjacent tiles to create a seamless appearance.

Step 5: Trim Tiles as Needed

When you get to the edge of a room or doorway, you’ll most likely need to trim the tiles to fit. Measure the space and use a straight edge or ruler to guide your utility knife or carpet cutter.

Step 6: Secure with Adhesive

Once your tiles are in place, lift each tile and peel the adhesive before repositioning it in its place. Press down firmly to ensure a strong bond between the tile and floor.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Once all the tiles are in place, go over the entire floor to ensure each tile is securely adhered. Trim any excess adhesive or frayed carpet edges, and if there are any visible seams between the tiles, you can use a seam sealer to blend them together.

The Final Step: Enjoy Your New Carpet!

Allow the adhesive to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Once dry, move any furniture back and enjoy your new carpet!